Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘Beat Bop. Test Pressing, Version One, Volume One’, 1983/2002, michael lisi / contemporary art

Jean-Michel Basquiat's early success and recognition became known as a "post-graffiti" style of artwork, and earned him a place of connections and respect with many social circles in New York's downtown culture. Friendships were formed between Basquiat and key figures in the new culture of hip-hop. Collaborations with the artist were highly regarded, and from this, Fab-5 Freddy, a contemporary of Basquiat's, arranged one with Rammelzee for the promo sleeve of "Beat-Bop". The promo sleeve is one of many examples of the organized simplicity, symbolism, and use of text in Basquiat's smaller works, with the record reflecting what much of early hip-hop became.

About Jean-Michel Basquiat

A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.

American, 1960-1988, New York, New York, based in New York, New York